Editor's Note: Strike King Pro Team member, 30-year old Mark Rose from Marianna, Arkansas, has competed professionally in bass fishing since 1999. He has participated in more than 150-major professional tournaments and has taken numerous top-20 positions, three, top-10 positions and two, top-five positions. In the last 16 months, Rose has fished in B.A.S.S, FLW, Wal-Mart BFL, Everstart and Ranger Millennium pro-fishing tournaments.
Question: Although you haven't won any major tournaments yet, what do you do to continue to fish the pro circuit?
Answer: I do lots of sponsor-related events. I've been able to maintain two or three top-10 finishes on the F.L.W. and B.A.S.S. trails the last few years. I live on the hope that my bass-fishing career will blossom into a big win in the future. But as long as I continue to learn every time I go out, don't get burned-out on professional fishing and continue to have some good success, I feel like my future looks good.
Question: What tips would you give someone who wanted to fish the professional tournament circuit full time?
Answer: First, enter your local club tournaments, such as your local B.A.S.S. Federation Club tournaments. Get the hang of the tournament atmosphere, and learn the skills required to become a tournament fisherman. Try to balance your finances. When getting started on the circuit, you need to either win some money like I have, or operate your own business.
In my opinion, anyone interested in a career as a tournament fisherman needs to direct his or her profession toward tournament fishing early in life. Try to figure out a way to earn money on the side because making a living as a tournament fisherman can be very difficult. Money problems affect professional bass fishermen more than anything else does. Therefore, always try to keep some sort of additional income available if you plan to become a professional angler.
If you don't have access to another income, you have to win or place in tournaments from the very beginning of your professional bass-fishing career to earn the money you must have to compete. But sometimes you don't have to actually win tournaments to continue to have the money to compete. Often you can win $40,000 or $50,000 for a second- or a third-place finish.
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